new REwired blog header

Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Wall Street, eating its own

Dealbreaker -- one of our all-time favorite sites over here at HW -- had a brief little ditty up earlier today about Lehman Brothers. Similar to our story, but without the whole bit about the stock taking a bath in afternoon trading. Anyway, 52 comments later and it's clear that someone at Lehman didn't take their morning dose of __________.
Read More

Quote of the Day

Attributed to Christopher Whalen at Institutional Risk Analytics: "...what fair value accounting is doing is forcing everyone to write anything they can't value today to zero. That's a wonderful, classical approach to accounting, but if we do that we're going to deleverage our financial system in a way that will make the 1930s looks like a trial run." This, from an interview on Bloomberg TV Monday morning. Want to see the whole thing?
Read More

Quantifying the Home ATM

Over at Calculated Risk, the blog's eponymous author takes a hard look at just how much the housing price slump is likely to drag on personal spending during 2008. His figure? $180 billion. So-called "personal consumption expenditures" -- that's econo-speak for discretionary spending by consumers, which is often the lifeblood of much of the retail industry -- rose by $508 billion between 2006 and 2007 alone.
Read More

Viewpoint: To Broker, or Not to Broker

As I recently listened to Neil Young proclaim in his classic song that "Rock-n-roll will never die," I couldn’t help but wonder about wholesale lending. Although there’s a good chance Neil doesn’t know the difference between a yield spread premium and a prepayment penalty, in the same way his career was at a critical point when the song was originally released, wholesale lending now finds itself at a similar crossroads.
Read More

Discrimination by any other name ...

Here at HW, we're shocked -- but not suprised -- to find out that former mortgage industry employees are fighting a stigma among employers in other industries. The OC Register's Mortgage Insider blog last week covered a job posting from Apple One, a staffing company:
Read More

Fitch warns it might downgrade Standard & Poor's

A little satire for the weekend: Fitch Ratings today said it might lower its 'AAA' rating on Standard & Poor's, as the financial ratings business continues to reel from a complete lack of anything to actually rate in residential mortgage-backed securities. Fitch said that S&P would likely face a three-notch downgrade unless the agency could somehow drum up some RMBS or CDO business in the next few weeks.
Read More

Viewpoint: FICO - The Late, Great Credit Score?

Is FICO still relevant to the mortgage industry? I can see it now: no matter how this question gets answered, it’s certain to elicit some response, which in fact, is the reason for the article. As an industry that migrated with some reservation but eventually went "all-in" with the belief that FICO was a true indicator of performance, it’s a question that deserves discussion, particularly given the issues we’re facing.
Read More